I've decided to join the schoolkids and make a summer reading list. Yes, it's August. So I'm a bit late:
Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V - Shakespeare. This September PBS is broadcasting The Hollow Crown, a BBC production of these three plays starring Tom Hiddleston and lots of other great British actors. I want to read the plays before I watch the films.
The Epic of Gilgamesh. Because it's epic. I waded through this ancient saga a few years ago, but I think I'll appreciate it more a second time around.
Beowulf - Seamus Heaney's translation. Another epic. I've read this before. I need to read it again.
The Poetic Edda - Lee Hollander's translation. Because I can't write a novel about Norse bros' wild adventures without reading the source material, can I?
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - J.R.R. Tolkien's translation. Another one I've read before and need to re-read carefully. I think I missed the point the first time.
I would never pick up any of these when I need a book to cuddle (that's what Harry Potter is for). To read these, I have to go armed and ready for battle. Mind alert. Eyes open. Sword sharp.